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Crypt substrate recommendations?

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by billiemackers, 10 Jan 2017.

  1. billiemackers

    billiemackers Member

    Messages:
    61
    Hi all,

    I'm just curious to see which substrates people have had good success in low tech setups with crypts?

    I currently have a small aquarium, which is going OK but I'm tempted to overhaul it with a crypt dominated setup. I think it makes sense to get 'good' at propagating less demanding plants first before I waste any more money. After debating whether or not to go down the CO2 injection route I have decided against it for now and will most likely dose easycarbo daily.

    The substrate I currently use is CAL aqua labs black earth premium, which is OK but a little bit light to plant in. I still have quite a bit of it left but would a capped dirt substrate suit my needs better? I also think sand/gravel capped substrates look a bit more natural.

    Is there anything I could add to my black earth substrate to make it more nutritious?

    I'd love something like this:

    http://definiteaquascape.tv/FA07_Tank07.html

    This shouldn't be hard enough, right? :rolleyes:

    Any help much appreciated, cheers
     
  2. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Messages:
    5,878
    Hi all,
    You could try some leaf litter. Beech would be good.

    cheers Darrel
     
    billiemackers and zozo like this.
  3. zozo

    zozo Member

    Messages:
    3,136
    I noticed crypt growth improve on inert substrate after adding little peat pellets (JBL Tormec) and laterite clay balls since crypt appriciate some extra iron.. I also depends a bit on which crypt, some are less easy than others and take long to addapt.. I'm growing 9 different crypt sp. in a low tech on inert lava based substrate with added peat pellets and laterite clay.

    C. Parva - very slow, stay very small, but hold on and even propagates runners after a year..
    C. Albida brown- very slow the first year.
    C. Wendtii brown - Very good (was the first making runners)
    C. Spirallis Shola - Very slow the first year
    C. Indonesii - Very good from the start
    C. Willisii - Very good from the start
    C. Walkerii hobbit - Good (some grow much larger beyond hobbit the ones who don't are just very slow i suspect they do not do much other than live)
    C. Costata (albida - parker) - Very good
    C. Aponogetifolia - Very very very slow completely melted away, took 1 year to come back with 3 cm new growth. Probably needs long addaption to softer water..

    Had all of these also growing in Akadama test tank and grow relatively faster even in lower light with much less ferts. So it's definitively substrate related.
    I suspect it's the lava substrate it is very rocky and hard for the roots to penetrate and develop.. But after a year once established rooted rock sollid. Noticid on the small parva, grwoing roots rather long without doing much above the substrate.. These plants seem to require a rather large rootsystem to realy thrive..

    So can't say, both substrates are without succes with having patience i guess all can do good.. Now having experienced that easy rooting realy favors crypts i would like to grow them clay based peat/dirt one day on pond soil for Nymphaea for example.. :) Have a hunch it will be crypts heaven..
     
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  4. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    Peat 30%, soil 70%, Cat litter 10% work's well for my low tech affair's.
    I cap the mixture with sand or fine gravel (currently using safe-t-sorb) and try not to uproot plant's at all.
    Takes some forethought about species and position in the tank and what plant's might look like at maximum height/density.
    Currently growing crypt balansae,Crypt Blassi (very slow to adapt),and crypt parva ,along with Anubia,Echinodorus Kliener bar,Echinodorus Red Flame,and some ludwigia repen's.
    Dose NPK and traces once a week after 50% water change.
    Plain topsoil is what I am using now but wished I would have used Miracle Grow at the start for enhanced nutrient availability.
     
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  5. MrHidley

    MrHidley Member

    Messages:
    295
    Adding the tropica plant growth substrate (effectively dirt) underneath your substrate can help add nutrients. Alternatively if you just want to add to your current substrate you could just add some nutrition capsules.
     
    billiemackers likes this.
  6. billiemackers

    billiemackers Member

    Messages:
    61
  7. sciencefiction

    sciencefiction Member

    Messages:
    2,333
    Mine have grown just fine in plain sand but the tank is old and I believe the sand is quite rich now. The substrate depth, however, is barely one inch because I initially set up this tank to raise some cory fry and never got around to changing the substrate or adding more sand.

    Here is a bad video below...I was actually filming my new rasboras but you get he idea...This tank is virtually unfertilzed and I have never used root tabs. Its left to its own devices you can tell.. :)
    It probably depends on the species of crypt but they seem to grow in any substrate.

     
    billiemackers likes this.
  8. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Messages:
    5,878
    Hi all,
    It is an interesting read, but flawed as an experiment, because of the solubility of the osmocote. You could use a genuine source of slow release nutrients (humus would do), and that would be a fairer test.
    I think that probably does relate to substrate stability. It doesn't really matter where you start, if you leave the substrate alone it will mature into an acceptable substrate.

    As long as you aren't too impatient I think the secret with Cryptocoryne spp. is to plant them and then just ignore them.
    They do, they are plants that often grow where they spend some of the year emersed and some submersed. You still have the issue of changing from 400ppm CO2 in the atmosphere to 1 - 2 ppm in the water at some point.

    cheers Darrel
     
  9. MirandaB

    MirandaB Member

    Messages:
    459
    I grow most of mine in eco complete,I know it's not everyone's favourite substrate but it does work for me :)
    Balansae in particular seems to love it....so much so it's starting to affect other crypts with it's root growth so may have to figure out how to remove some.
    31387656254_4561701fa9_c.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. billiemackers

    billiemackers Member

    Messages:
    61
    Looks great MirandaB, do you inject CO2?
     
  11. MirandaB

    MirandaB Member

    Messages:
    459
    Thanks Billie :) no injected co2,just easycarbo and a half dose of Neutro plus daily.
     
  12. JSeymour

    JSeymour Newly Registered

    Messages:
    20
    Personally, I only grow crypts emersed, but in general, most of my 56 varieties are kept with a 50/50 to 30/70 mixture of sandy loam/peat moss, capped with special kitty natural. Some have perlite too, to loosen the soil (species typically grown in beech leaves) with the 70% peat mix.

    Soil looks like this.
    c2eb3e02b50ee368b3f00e6e24db9b07.jpg

    Crypts look like this.
    d758a72c8206e850de6f9aa54003b8a4.jpg db64e8c32b3b5d5ad78a3c362319d573.jpg
     
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  13. JSeymour

    JSeymour Newly Registered

    Messages:
    20
    A few others in a different system, same soil, no soil cap.
    c66c29b4c511d1d952030cf14d9a5cf8.jpg 7689614437b704a12e6b254e98b6ff94.jpg 0d46c4d2c16ee5d7d3248adf2c9e0be1.jpg 5974f83928676b98ad257cb1d5c9004f.jpg
     
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